The US healthcare system could save over $600m every year by avoiding unnecessary use of medicines in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients through determination of their KRAS status, according to a study by the HealthPartners Research Foundation.
The study titled, "Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Screening for KRAS and BRAF Mutations in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer," found that screening for KRAS mutations saved approximately $7,500 per patient compared with anti-EGFR therapy without screening.
The study also said that BRAF mutation screening saved another $1,023, with no reduction in expected survival.
The Qiagen-developed KRAS mutation screening tool, therascreen, uses automated Rotor-Gene Q MDx molecular detection real-time PCR technology to determine optimal treatment for colorectal cancer patients who are candidates for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-inhibitor therapy.
Depending on the assay, therascreen KRAS RGQ PCR Kit has shown to have higher sensitivity for KRAS mutations of between 0.8% and 6.4%.
The assay also provides oncologists with the information needed to determine which medicine may work best for the patients, helping in avoiding inappropriate and ineffective use of expensive cancer treatments.
The study also states that when used continually, the assay will provide efficiencies that equate to cost savings in the months and years.